7 Smart Exterior Upgrades

Want to spruce things up? These simple changes make a big impact on the overall look of your home.

By: Jeannie Matteucci

Photo By: Alistair Tutton

Photo By: Chipper Hatter

Add Pizzazz With a Pediment

Exterior crown molding and a pediment used over a front door create a cohesive and attractive entry for a classic, formal-style home. Always choose trim that complements the architectural look and style of your house.

Build Stone Columns

Columns on stone-faced pedestals are a nice option for a rustic-style home. "Proportion is very important with columns," says Jeffrey L. Davis, founder and owner of Chadsworth Incorporated. "You want to think about it ahead of time. We've all seen columns that are too skinny for a porch."

Try Out Dentil Molding

The small rectangular blocks that look like a row of spaced teeth are called dentil molding. This Victorian-style molding in a synthetic material costs less than $5 a foot.

Construct a Charming Walkway

Add sophistication and wow factor to your Cape Cod, cottage, Colonial or Tudor with a stone walkway. "Using real stone for a walkway gives you added detail of quality and it can be used to connect your hardscape with your architecture," says landscape architect Rosheen Styczinski, owner of New Eden Landscape Architecture.

Be Whimsical With Trim

Use wood or paintable cellular PVC gingerbread trim, intricate-cut and pierced frieze boards, braced arches and scrolled brackets to add personality to Victorian-style cottages.

Install Rustic Wooden Brackets

Exterior brackets used under eaves can be decorative or functional, and add a rustic touch to a mountain house. Wooden brackets can range in cost from $25 to $60 and up.

Make an Entrance With Lighting

If you currently have only one ceiling light in the center of your entry or front porch, consider upgrading your lighting by adding surface-mounted lanterns."A better lighting approach for your entry helps invite guests into your home," says Jeff Dross, Kichler Lighting's corporate director of education and industry trends.

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